By Erik Berglof of the EBRD Chief Economist
The latest forecasts show that central Asia and the Caucasus are again the fastest-growing economies in the former Communist countries of eastern Europe and the ex-Soviet Union.
Yet, given the low level of income and relatively high population growth of these countries, the numbers are disappointing. On closer inspection growth is also narrow, mainly stemming from natural resources and remittances from citizens working abroad; countries less endowed with resources are doing worse. Economic reforms are mostly stuck, as are, with a few exceptions, political reform. Continue reading »
Russia the next Greece? It sounds like a long shot. But Russia the next Greece as the subject of a report from an investment bank that specialises in marketing Russian assets? That sounds like a shot in the foot. But it is precisely what Ivan Tchakarov of Moscow-based Renaissance Capital published on Tuesday. And he has solid arguments to support his self-destructive thesis. Continue reading »
One of the world’s largest fixed income fund managers expects Asia’s growing energy shortage to lead to investment opportunities in the credit markets.
Pimco, the US-based manager with $2.04tn in assets under management worldwide, said in a report released in Hong Kong on Tuesday that more oil and gas companies in Asia would tap the bond market, often to finance acquisitions outside the region as they come to terms with energy shortages caused by declining indigenous resources and increasing domestic consumption. Continue reading »
There’s a big test this week for investors eyeing India’s growing internet industry.
Justdial, the Indian local search engine, is coming to market with an initial public offering that follows several other IPOs that haven’t done too well lately. It’s a challenge for the company and for prospective share-buyers. Continue reading »
* China pledges boost to India trade
* Qatar snaps up stakes in key lenders
* IMF calls for more Middle East reforms
* Blackstone leads buyout bid for US-listed Chinese group
* Goldman Sachs sells final $1.1bn piece of Chinese bank Continue reading »
Yum or yuk?
If the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organisation has its way, celebrity chefs will soon be whipping up a dish of dried crickets, rather than strawberry fondue.
Insects may not look particularly appetising, but they could provide a solution to the world’s looming food crisis. And the FAO’s shining example? Thailand. Continue reading »
Tuesday’s picks from beyondbrics: why minorities in ENRC deserve more; what gold is really telling us; how Asian hoteliers are luring Chinese tourists; and what Kenyan banks can do for Kenya. Continue reading »
What is a Nobel Prize worth in the Beijing property market? Not very much if Nobel-winning Chinese author Mo Yan’s experience is anything to go by.
Chinese media reports say Mo (pictured) has bought an apartment on the far outskirts of the Chinese capital that they estimate will have cost him about half his Nobel prize money of $1.2m. Continue reading »
As Russia’s economy slows, one name comes up more and more in conversations – that of Alexei Kudrin, the former finance minister who either resigned or was sacked, depending on whom you talk to, in September 2011.
Kudrin has an unrivalled reputation for economic management, earned in more than a decade in office, before he fell foul of a rivalry with Dmitry Medvedev. Medvedev, who was president at the time and is now prime minister, accepted Kudrin’s resignation after Kudrin publicly said he wouldn’t work with Medvedev. Continue reading »
Rain washed out the inaugural anniversary celebration for Taiwan’s president Ma Ying-jeou; forecasts for full-year economic growth are being cut; and two of the country’s fighter jets have crashed during training exercises in the last week.
But there could soon be at least one bright spot in the gloom for Taiwan. Legislators are trying to lighten an unpopular transaction tax that has weighed on the local market since it first passed last year. Continue reading »
* China steps up Caribbean strategy
* Middle East sovereign wealth funds bypass private equity funds
* Sluggish Thai growth deepens fears of wider Asian slowdown Continue reading »
Almost a year after America Movil, the largest telecom company in Latin America, made its first acquisition in the US prepaid cellphone market, when it bought Simple Mobile, the company has done it again.
On Monday, it announced the purchase of Start Wireless Group, another mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) that will add 1.4m subscribers to TracFone Wireless, America Movil’s US subsidiary. Continue reading »
With consumer defaults on the rise and confidence among shoppers at a three-year low in Brazil, the nerves are starting to show.
Chaos broke out across at least 12 states over the weekend after rumours spread that the government was planning to suspend the nationwide Bolsa Família social welfare programme. Continue reading »
By Samuel George of the Bertelsmann Foundation
They come by it honestly. Much like their European relatives, Latin American leaders have a sweet tooth for the summit, the annual meeting and the commission. Lofty goals and promises of solidarity are sealed with vigorous handshakes, bear hugs and kisses on the cheek. But beyond the ubiquitous photos of smiling presidents, few concrete achievements emerge from these gatherings.
In theory, inchoate integration projects abound, from the regional Mercosur to the continental Unasur. In fact, the dream of a more unified Latin American has progressed little since Simon Bolívar crisscrossed the Andes in the early 19th century. This could be changing. Continue reading »
The latest bout of trouble in South Africa’s mining industry entered its second week on Monday with the country’s gold stocks index hitting an almost 12-year low and the rand down at levels last seen four years ago. Continue reading »